Scanning your Mac with Avast Security or Avast Premium Security

Avast Security and Avast Premium Security (previously Avast Security Pro) provide a range of scans to protect your Mac from malware and network threats. You can also create your own scans with parameters you specify. The following virus scans are available:

  • Smart Scan: quickly scan the most vulnerable areas of your Mac.
  • Deep Scan: perform an in-depth scan of your system, including checking your storage drives and memory for malware.
  • Targeted Scan: scan specific files or folders on your Mac.
  • USB/DVD Scan: scan any removeable storage devices connected to your Mac.
  • Custom Scans: create and set your own scan parameters, including scheduling your custom scans to run regularly and automatically.

Run a scan

All scans can be run from the Scan Central screen. Follow the steps below to run a scan:

Deep Scan may take several minutes or more to complete, depending on the number of files and the performance of your system.
  1. In your Applications folder, double-click the Avast icon to open the application.
  2. Click the search icon.
  3. To start your preferred scan:
    1. Smart Scan: Click Run Smart Scan.
    2. Deep Scan: Click Scan Now.
    3. Targeted Scan: Click Scan Now, then select the files or folders you would like to scan, and click Open.
    4. USB/DVD Scan: Click Scan Now, then select the removeable drives you would like to scan and click Start.
    5. Custom Scans: Click Open Now, then click the play button (start scan now) on the panel for the scan you want to run.
  4. Wait while Avast Security scans your Mac for threats.

When the scan completes, refer to the section below to learn how to process the scan results.

Process scan results

After running a virus scan, details of any detected threats are displayed on the screen. To process your scan results, we recommend moving detected files to the Virus Chest:

  1. Select from the following options:
    • To move individual files to the Virus Chest, hover the cursor over a listed threat, then click Resolve.
    • To move multiple files to the Virus Chest, use the check boxes to select each file, then click Resolve Selected.
    • To move all files to the Virus Chest, click the check box at the top of the list, then click Resolve Selected.
  2. After resolving the detected threats, or if no threats are found, click Done to return to Scan Central. If you choose to ignore the detected threats, click the back arrow, then Ignore, to return to Scan Central.

To learn more about the Virus Chest, refer to the following article:

Schedule a scan

Custom Scans allow you to create and schedule your own scans to run regularly and automatically. To set your own scan parameters:

  1. Click Open Now on the Custom Scans tile.
  2. Click New Custom Scan.
  3. Enter a Scan Name, then use the drop-down menus to select Type of Scan and Frequency. You can select from the following options:
    • Type of scan: Targeted Scan, Deep Scan, or Mac Scan.
    • Frequency: Once, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
    Click the up or down arrows to change the date and the Start Time for your custom scan.
  4. Review the Advanced settings list and tick or untick the box next to any items you want to include or exclude from your scan.
  5. If you want to exclude any files or folders from the scan, click Add Exceptions, then select the relevant file or folder and click Open.
  6. Click Save.

Your custom scan is set up and appears in the Custom Scans list. To edit or delete the scan, hover your cursor over the scan details and click (three dots), then select Edit scan or Remove scan.

Adjust scan settings

To access settings for the pre-defined scans:

  1. Click the Settings icon on the Scan Central screen, or go to ☰ MenuSettings, and select the Scans tab.
  2. Use the check boxes next to each setting to select or deselect your preferred options for each of the pre-defined scans.
  3. To exclude a file or folder from a scan, click Add Exceptions, then select the relevant file or folder, and click Open.
  4. When you have finished adjusting scan settings, click the red X in the top-left corner to close the Preferences window.
  • Avast Security 14.x for Mac
  • Avast Premium Security 14.x for Mac
  • Apple macOS 11.x (Big Sur)
  • Apple macOS 10.15.x (Catalina)
  • Apple macOS 10.14.x (Mojave)
  • Apple macOS 10.13.x (High Sierra)
  • Apple macOS 10.12.x (Sierra)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.11.x (El Capitan)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10.x (Yosemite)

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